The Domaine Chavy-Chouet Estate
Romaric Chavy took over the estate in 2014, making him the eighth generation to make wine in his family. Romaric learned from his father, Hubert Chavy, who founded the winery. Chavy-Chouet is one of the oldest families in Puligny-Montrachet. The Ropiteau family (on his mother's side) is the oldest one in Meursault.
Hubert Chavy (known not only for his winemaking but also for his charisma) was able to train Romaric in for a few years before his passing in early 2014. Romaric has become a very smart vigneron with a great philosophy. Making wine has come naturally to him, as if often does in Burgundy when you are next in line.
After six years at a specialist winemaking school and with plenty of experience in winegrowing and vinification around the world under his belt, Romaric has given the estate a makeover, watching over his 15 hectares of vines with a rigorous eye. He is proud of his roots, and his approach combines rigor, tradition, and innovation.
A group from Kysela visits Chavy-Chouet in January each year, carrying on a tradition of tasting from barrels, then bottles, and then finishing with some mystery wines. The group has to guess the appellation and the vintage of wines being poured from magnums...a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
This is a 15 hectare-domaine (37 acres) that produces wine from 14 A.O.C.'s (80% White, 20% Red). The vineyard is divided into 70 parcels planted to vines that are 40 years old or more. He uses Gillet as his cooper, who blends oak from Nevers, Limousin and Allier forests. The barrels receive medium toast. Romaric, just as his father, Hubert, does not fine or filter his wines, as he prefers their purity to shine through.
The winery covers 1,300 square meters, including 800 square meters of cellars, and is a mix of ancient and ultra-modern. The set-up allows him to work hand-in-hand with nature in a well-managed yet pleasant environment, and to meet his very high demands in terms of quality. The wines are put into barrels using gravity, intervention is kept to a minimum, and an irreproachable attitude to cleanliness also symbolize his quest for excellence in the shape of pure and balanced wines that burst with energy.
A corked bottle of 1983 Pichon-Lalande led to my inaugural visit to this Meursault domaine. My precious Pauillac corked, I ordered a bottle of 2015 Bourgogne Les Femelottes from Chavy-Chouet at Brat restaurant in London. It was so damn delicious that I ordered another and emailed winemaker Romaric Chavy that I must visit pronto.
Arriving at the gates, I noticed that there was no doorbell or knocker. When I was noticed loitering outside, the gates finally opened and Romaric Chavy informed me that they do without a doorbell because they have so many visitors. Chavy is a young and confident guy, very media-savvy, which is uncommon in Burgundy. He worked abroad in various countries including South Africa and Greece before taking over Chavy-Chouet at the age of just 22. Before tasting through the 2017s, which had all been bottled, I asked about the background of the domaine.
“The holdings come from two sides of my grandfather’s family. Chavy comes from Puligny-Montrachet, and his wife was part of the Ropiteau family in Meursault. Back then, he sold the wines to Bouchard Père. It was my own father, Hubert, who started bottling his own wine when he married his wife from Pommard and bought this house in Meursault. I started at the domaine in 2006 when we were still selling off grapes. I already had a good network [of potential clients] and so we started to bottle everything and develop exports. My father passed away in 2014. Now we have 15 hectares, mostly old vines located in five villages, producing around 90,000 bottles, of which around 90% is exported. We have three or four people working full-time and we work in a classical way - lutte raisonée and ploughing in the vineyard. This year we approached half the vineyard organically, but when the pressure became too high, we switched back and used spray. We press the fruit for two hours, with a 24-hour debourbage, and then ferment in barrel using natural yeast, a maximum of 20% new oak for between 9 and 12 months, with no lees stirring and a light filtration before bottling. We try to keep as much natural CO2 as possible.”
It is always a pleasure to discover a producer who has skimmed under your Burgundy radar for some time. Chavy-Chouet has built a loyal following here in the UK and I can understand why. These wines are very pure, terroir-driven and focused. Yet they are not challenging or pretentious and give much sensory pleasure. As I mentioned, you can splash the cash on a Premier Cru white if you wish, but do not ignore the 2017 Bourgogne Blanc Les Femelottes. It is unequivocally Village Cru in quality – no real surprise given that its vines are adjacent to Puligny-Village. The 2017 Meursault Charmes is an absolute knockout, whilst the monopole Clos des Corvées de Citeau is superb. This is an address I will definitely return to in the future, though I have made a mental note to phone ahead, so that I can actually get in. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (2017 Burgundy: A Modern Classic, January 2019)
Chavy-Chouet Cremant de Bourgogne is made from 7 year old Chardonnay grapes in Puligny-Montrachet.
18 months in barrels and on laths
It is a pure and elegant wine with balanced structure and a very low dosage. Intense aromas of citrus fruits, apple, apricot and white peaches, fine bubbles. Apple and Asian pear flavors, a round mouthfeel and a clean finish.
Pairs well with Cassoulet, Ceviche, Crab Soufflé.
"Pale yellow. Shows aromas of cooked apple with citrus notes. Clean and crisp on the attack, it’s full in the mouth with good freshness and effervescence on a refined, mineral driven palate. Dry but long on the finish with lingering hints of apple and oyster shells. Made from 7 year old Chardonnay grapes grown in Puligny-Montrachet and aged 18 months in barrel. This family winery is now in its 7 generation."
- International Wine Review (Champagnes & Sparkling Wines for the Holidays: The Best of 2018), 91 pts
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (August 2021), 92 pts
Chavy-Chouet Meursault Les Casse Tetes is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
A "casse tête" in French is a conundrum or puzzle and the name of this plot refers to the hardness of the soil and the challenge it was for our ancestors to plant vines on this pebbly limestone ground.
Surface Area : 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares)
Age of the vines: 45 years old
Planting density : 10,000 vines per hectares
Soil Type : Limestone
Tasting notes: Concentrated, powerful, and lively, Les Casse-Têtes is the very quintessence of the Meursault appellation. Its sophistication, structure, and assured elegance reflect the character of the soil.
Chavy-Chouet Volnay Sous la Chapelle is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Total acreage for this wine: 0.1 hectare (0.25 acres)Planting density: 10 000 vines per hectares
Age of the vines: 10 years
At the bottom of the slope in the heart of Volnay, this plot lies on clay-sand soil.
Volnay is located on the steep sloping hill of Chaignot in the Côte de Beaune, where the southeast facing vines have been valued for centuries. These vineyards have been valued and exploited for centuries. Long before the French Revolution, the harvests of Volnay went to the Knights of Malta, the Abbeys of Saint-Andoche d’Autun and Maizières, or to the Dukes of Bourgogne and their successors, the Kings of France.
Volnay has a reputation for being among the most delicate, feminine of the Bourgogne wines. Limestone soil dominates the area, with deeper, gravelly soils at the foot of the slope, where Chavy Chouet’s vines are located.
This Volnay is full of character; broad and fruity. Smooth and elegant tannins make it a feminine wine, marked by aromas of black berries and leather.
M by Michael Mondavi Red Blend is made from 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec, Only 16 barrels produced.
M starts with Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted to Cabernet Clone 4 on 110R rootstock, which produces structured fruit with ample tannins and acid to balance the concentrated dark fruit flavors. In order to perfect his process, Rob Mondavi, Jr. consulted with viticulturist Danny Schuster to help unlock the secrets of his family’s Animo Vineyard. Rob and Danny harness an organic natural approach to the vineyard that exemplifies the beautifully, unique attributes of this site.
Linear and precise, the 2016 M by Michael Mondavi opens with expressive aromas of quince, plum, juniper, cassis, blackberry & dark roasted coffee beans. With time and swirls of air, notes of dried rose petals, coriander, cinnamon and clove develop. This wine enters the palate with subtle tannins at first, and soon broadens into a silky expanse of vanilla bean, cocoa, roasted dates, black cherry, and orange blossom tea. The evolution of flavors continues with candied figs, bramble-berry, and cocoa covered strawberries. Enticing and enjoyable now, additional cellaring will surely allow further detail and refinement to develop. Blend: 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec
Linear and precise, the 2016 M by Michael Mondavi opens with expressive aromas of strawberry, plum, juniper, cassis, blackberry & dark roasted coffee beans. With time and swirls of air, notes of dried rose petals, coriander, cinnamon and clove develop.
96 Points - James Suckling
Holocene Memorialis Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Holocene Pinot Noir Memorialis is a blend of 777, Pommard and 115 clones from MonksGate vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and it saw about 20% new French oak for 16 months prior to bottling. It is always the lighter and more feminine of the two Holocene wines, with red fruits, white flowers, dried herbs, mushroom and forest floor aromatics, bright acidity and a lithe texture, long finish.